André Mehmari, piano





André Mehmari, piano

Brazilian Jazz Composer and Improviser

  • $30 Assigned Rows 1-2
  • $20 Assigned Rows 3-5
  • $15 General Admission
  • $5 Student
  • André Mehmari, piano

Event Details

Brazilian pianist and composer André Mehmari returns to Kerrytown Concert House this summer for another spectacular performance following his multiple previous shows where he played to packed houses. From the earliest days of classical music through the development of jazz and the other musics of the Americas, composer-improvisors have created repertoire that became the musical literature of each era. Mehmari carries this tradition forward into the 21st century and will show listeners the beauty of improvised music throughout history in solo piano performance. He is regarded as an artistic leader in his native Brazil and is winner of major awards in both classical and popular music.

This program was developed with support from the Catskill Jazz Factory.

"André Mehmari is one of those musicians with a prodigious talent, who flashes across the stratosphere once in a lifetime."
- Raul d'Gama, Latin Jazz Network

"His fingers, well trained to navigate the piano keyboard, can do just about anything. Want speed? Power? Elegance? Lyricism? Experimentation? This guy does it all."
- Adam Parker, The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina)

"Pianist André Mehmari is a precocious genius, an extraordinary talent of vibrant and generous imagination. He uses his classical training to approach popular music ... in a rich and creative way, making the formality of one language work for the enrichment of the other.”
- Mauro Dias, O Estado de São Paulo (Brazil)

André Mehmari

Andre Mehmari is considered one of the most talented young musicians of his native Brazil. His activities as pianist, composer, arranger and instrumentalist are highly regarded both in popular and classical music. As his compositions and arrangements have been performed by important Brazilian orchestras and chamber ensembles, his career in jazz and Brazilian popular music has also attained wide attention as he has gained wide recognition for his music in jazz festivals and concerts.

Born in 1977 in Niteroi, he began to study music with his mother at the age of five, and completed an organ course in the Conservatory of Ribeirao Preto. At the age of ten, having been self-taught in jazz improvisation, he wrote his first compositions. After beginning his professional career playing piano and organ in social events he later formed his own jazz trio demonstrating his abilities as composer and performer in local jazz clubs. At the age of 15 while teaching organ in the Conservatory of Ribeirao Preto, Mehmari was invited to compose a method for keyboard beginners. The result was a 20-piece collection, a work greatly appreciated by young musicians and their teachers. Andre’s precociousness as a composer and multi-instrumentalist was well documented by the media.

In 1995 he moved to Sao Paulo to study at the Sao Paulo State University. In the same year he won the university’s competition for original Brazilian popular music. The same honor was awarded to him for classical music in 1997.

In 1997, after developing an active piano performance schedule, he started writing orchestral arrangements for major musical events in Sao Paulo. He participated in a recording with the inclusion of a Mehmari/Jardim’s composition interpreted by the popular Brazilian singer/composer, Milton Nascimento. In the following year he won the first national VISA MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) Competition, the most important award for popular music in Brazil.

After recording his first CD, as reward for the first prize winner (highly praised by reviewers and listeners), Mehmari performed in various Brazilian concert halls. “Odisséia” was recorded shortly after the VISA CD. It is a totally improvised piano trio album with long time collaborators Célio Barros and Sérgio Reze. Read more.

Many activities mark the year of 1999. He was invited to teach jazz piano in the Campos do Jordao Winter Festival, one of the most important musical events in Brazil. André played in both Chivas Jazz and Heineken Concerts, two of the most important Jazz Festivals in Brazil’s scene.

Recorded in that same year at his home studio, the colorful “Canto”, released in 2002, where the multi-instrumentalist Mehmari shows his abilities as composer and arranger, playing also all 26 instruments heard on the CD: piano, clarinet, viola, violin, cello, percussion, guitars, double-bass, flute and voice, to name a few. “Sinfonia para Mario Covas” National Composition Competition Award, first prize winner with “Sinfonia Elegíaca” in four movements.

A new CD, Lachrimae, was released in 2004 by the audiophile label CAVI. Two different piano trios are the center of this recording with special guests Mônica Salmaso (voice), Dimos Goudaroulis (cello) and Luca Raele (clarinet). The combination of Brazilian MPB classics in highly creative arrangements and Mehmari’s own compositions create a very special portrait of the pianist’s unique style and language. Also won the National Composition Competition Award “Camargo Guarnieri”, with “Omaggio a Berio” based in Monteverdi’s music.

He has an active performing schedule with his two trios, solo piano and in duet with singers Monica Salmaso and Ná Ozzetti. With the later, he recorded the acclaimed "Piano e Voz", considered a true Brazilian masterpiece of recent MPB. Mehmari regularly write compositions and arrangements for Brazilian leading orchestras and chamber ensembles. Recent compositions includes the "Angelus Piano Quintet" and "Dance Suite", commissioned by São Paulo State Symphony and 'Viagem de Verão', commissioned by Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires, for her Spanish Schubertíade.

He made his U.S. premiere at the 2005 edition of Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, stunning the audience with his blend of virtuosity, vitality, and musicality. Was invited to play at the TIM festival 2006, with his trio on the jazz stage. After winning the Carlos Gomes award for classical music revelation of the year of 2006, Mehmari was appointed resident composer for the São Paulo State Wind Band. Also wrote original orchestral music for the official PAN American games ceremonies, that took place on legendary Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, in July.

Played under direction of Maria Schneider at the Ouro Preto Jazz Festival in Minas Gerais. Released the 'Continuous Friendship' album, in duet with mandolin-virtuoso Hamilton de Holanda. In 2008 released a CD entirely dedicated to his own compositions: 'About waltzes and trees' and toured the northeast of Brazil with Ivan Lins, playing both Ivan's and his own compositions at the traditional Pixinguinha Project, 30th anniversary special edition. For Ivan Lins and the Metropole Orkest Amsterdam, wrote an arrangement, played under direction of Vince Mendoza.

A piano solo album entirely dedicated to the music of the Clube da Esquina was recently released. With the quintet album Nonada, Mehmari was nominated for the 2008 Latin Grammy Awards. Also he wrote a double concerto for jazz piano, clarinet and winds, performed with clarinet master Gabriele Mirabassi and Sao Paulo State Wind Band.

Composed and performed a Concert for Jazz Piano Trio and Strings, commissioned by the São Paulo State Orchestra. For the São Paulo Dance Company composed a full scale ballet, premiered this April.

A Mehmari-Mirabassi duet CD called MIRAMARI, is now released, both in Brazil and abroad. In 2010, signed with the main contemporary Italian label, EGEA . Composed "Contraponto, Ponte e Ponteio", for the Petrobras Sinfonica, premiered under Isaac Karabtchevsky at the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater. After receiving a commission from the German TV Deutsche Welle, Mehmari wrote "The City of Sun", for the Heliopolis Symphony. The work was successfully premiered in Germany, at the Beethovenfest, both in Bonn and Berlin. Recently toured solo piano in Japan and played with Hamilton de Holanda the new release Gismontipascoal in several European countries. See less.